The Community’s public school is the greatest discovery, and the cornerstone of our democratic society – Horace Mann

Good Morning,
Congratulations to the following member school boys’ basketball teams on great runs at State this past weekend: New Glarus, Osseo-Fairchild, Northwestern and Denmark!

In this edition: I encourage you to reach out to your local legislators and invite them to the Education Academy, we would like to see more rural legislators register. Check out the information on Rural Teachers Connect and the new online Special Education Degree program being offered by UW-Whitewater. Finally, some good links to the recently released State Budget, NCEE and ISE. and the call for proposals for the NREA National Conference.

WiRSA would like to welcome Dr. Theresa Duello as a new individual member.

Education Academy for Legislators – Reach out to your local rural legislators today.
WiRSA along with SAA, WASB SWSA and WPEN are inviting legislators and their staff to join school business officials from across Wisconsin for a half-day training session on Public School Finance on March 21st at the Concourse Hotel in Madison. We are asking our members to reach out and extend an invitation to your local legislators and staffers to attend this half-day event that will help inform them on the issues facing Wisconsin’s public schools. (reference attachment with details)

This workshop is designed to be a “straight forward, spin-free talk” on school finance led by experts in the field; school district business managers, district administrators, and a special guest speaker, Bob Soldner, from DPI.

The goal is to help them build an understanding of basic school finance concepts, so they are better prepared to make informed decisions during the biennial budget cycle.

WiRSA Rural Awards – New Category added for Principals
WiRSA is now taking applications for the 2019 WiRSA Rural Awards. The WiRSA Rural Awards are a way to recognize the great people you have in your district and community for the outstanding things that they do for your school and rural education. The deadline for nominations is September 13.
Click here for more information.

Rural Teachers Connect
Katie McCabe and the WiRSA Present Rural Teachers Connect. We want to grow professional networks by connecting rural teachers across the state. Join Katie by Webex meeting on March 25th at 3:30 for our first meeting as we establish a community of knowledge exchange and support! Please share this information and attached flyer with your staffs.

UW-Whitewater Online Special Education Degree Program (SPECED4U)
UW-Whitewater is offering a new online special education degree program (SPECED4U) designed especially for para- educators, instructional assistants, and persons with extensive work or volunteering experience in schools. We are now accepting applications for the fall 2019 semester.
Please contact Sharon Kolb at, (262) 472-4831, with any questions or inquiries about this program. See attached flyer and check out our website.

Legislative Update for the Week of March 18
Wednesday March 20th – Senate Committee on Local Government, Small Business, Tourism and Workforce – 1:00, 201 Southeast.
SB 88 – Relating to: youth apprenticeship programs and making an appropriation. This is the companion bill to AB 53

Links to 2019-20 Biennial Budget
Here are links to the Biennial Budget – The first one takes you directly to the education part of the budget the second takes you to the budget brief and the third is the budget menu page.

National Level Legislative Update From NREAC/CEF
President’s fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget proposal for a new K-12 tax credit for scholarships – At yesterday’s House Budget Committee hearing on the President’s budget request, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought stated that the proposed federal tax credit that would support private school choice should be viewed as offsetting the budget’s cuts to existing education funding. In an answer to a question from House Education and Labor Committee Chair Bobby Scott (D-VA), Vought said:

“We contribute another $50 billion [over ten years] to education so we think that more than offsets the 12% reduction that you note in terms of the Department of Education” (around 1 hour, 36 minutes into the hearing at the webcast link above)

The tax credit would be available to individuals and corporations for donations to state-authorized scholarship-granting organizations to be used for private school tuition, afterschool tutoring, extra courses, and certain public-school expenses. Vought said that the Department of Education and Treasury would provide more details and guidance about how the tax credit would be limited to just $5 billion per year if Congress enacts the tax credit.

Education hearings – There have been several education-related hearings this week!

o House Education and Labor Committee – hearing this morning on “The Cost of College: Student Centered Reforms to Bring to Higher Education Within Reach.” You can watch the hearing at this link.

o Senate HELP Committee – hearing yesterday on “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Simplifying the FAFSA and Reducing the Burden of Verification.” You can watch that hearing at this link.

o House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education – hearing yesterday on “Oversight of For-Profit Colleges: Protecting Students and Taxpayer Dollars from Predatory Practices.” You can watch that hearing at this link.

From US Department of Education
No update at the time of this issues release.

From the DOJ
School Safety Website Updated

Upcoming DOJ Training
Register for any of our statewide training events here.

From the NREA
111th NREA Convention and Research Symposium in Louisville, Kentucky. October 24-26, 2019 – Call for Proposals – Deadline is March 26th
Inspire and impact rural education leaders and practitioners by sharing your research, stories, resources, and ideas…Sound like you? If so, please submit a proposal to present at the 2019 National Forum to Advance Rural Education.

From the NCEE
Getting Selective about Teacher Training
Alberta is not alone. Many top-performing education systems limit the number of teacher training options to a few high-quality programs. And Kentucky is not unusual within the United States, where most states have dozens of teacher training programs available with vastly different levels of rigor. Unlike in the U.S., universities in top-performing countries are not trying to prepare a large number of teachers who will enter and leave the profession quickly. They are investing in individuals who will generally stay in the profession for a substantial career. For more on how some of the best education systems in the world prepare and train teachers, see the “Preparing Profession-Ready Teachers” policy brief from CIEB’s Empowered Educators study.

Preparing Teachers to Succeed
While Finland’s highly rigorous preparation for teachers is a notable example, many top-performing education systems have much higher standards for preparing teachers than are found in U.S. programs. What would the U.S. teaching force look like if we required this kind of preparation of our prospective teachers? Read more in the “Preparing Profession Ready Teachers” policy brief from CIEB’s Empowered Educators study.

From IES
REL Webinar: Trauma-Responsive Education Practices
Join REL Southwest for a free webinar on research-based, trauma-responsive education practices.
Participants will:

• Gain a better understanding of what is defined as trauma among adults and children.
• Become aware of the research base and evidence supporting trauma-responsive strategies and practices.
• Learn how to create a trauma-sensitive classroom.

Research-Based, Trauma-Responsive Education Practices
March 28, 2019
3:00–4:15 p.m. CT
Register here

Director Events from Last Week
March 11 – Weekly Stakeholder Conference Call
March 12 – Federal Budget Webinar
March 13 – Girls Who Code follow-up meeting
March 14 – Meeting with WiRSA Member
March 14 – NREA Federal Budget Webinar
March 14 – State Budget Stakeholder Meeting
March 15 – WAES Board Meeting

Director Events for the Upcoming Week
March 18 – Weekly Stakeholder Conference Call
March 19 – Meeting with Rep. Felzkowski
March 20 – Educators Rising Conference in Oshkosh
March 21 – Legislator Education Academy
March 21 – State Budget Stakeholder Meeting

Resources and Grant/Scholarship Reminders
• Save the Date: 2019 WiRSA Conference, October 28-29, Glacier Canyon in Wisconsin Dells.


Thank you Sponsors!
Alliant Energy, CESA Foundation, Ehlers, Jostens, McKinstry,
Mid-State Technical College, National Insurance Services, Nexus Solutions,
The Insurance Center, TRICORE Insurance, UW Colleges Online,
WEA Member Benefits and Wisconsin Farmers Union